Sweden’s Totalitarian Face
On April 4 2014, in MalmÃ¶ District Court in Sweden, the provocative artist Dan Park was sentenced to three months in jail for hate speech (“hets mot folkgrupp”) for his works of art. The prosecutor even wanted the artist examined for mental illness, similar toÂ the wayÂ CommunistÂ dictatorships have treated dissidents. The court did not support this suggestion, however.Â ParkÂ and his defense lawyer have indicated that they will appeal the verdict.
Ingrid Carlqvist, the editor of the newspaperÂ Dispatch International,Â commentedÂ that the verdict essentially amounts to a ban on satire in Sweden, at least if the satire involves ideologically protected immigrant groups.
The odious ‘Council of Europe’ is working overtime to whack Denmark into submission:
CoE report confirms concerns about “Islamophobia” in Denmark
- A recent report released by the Council of Europe (CoE) has stated that there is an increase in incidents of Islamophobia and hate speech against Muslims living in Denmark
Norwegian Education Haram, Islamic Education Halal
- Several hundred Somali-Norwegian children are sent to schools in Somalia, Kenya, Egypt and the UK, according to a recent report. … (can’t have the kafirs filth contaminate the purity of Muselmaniacs….)
At the same time, and with a heavy heart,Â Carlqvist announced her own decisionÂ to leaveÂ her native Sweden. The repressive and totalitarian atmosphere in the country has simply become intolerable, especially if you happen to be a critic of Islamization, Multiculturalism or mass immigration. You then run a real risk of physical attacks. The level of political violence as well as street crime is only rivaled by the level of ideological censorship and repression. In combination, this has created a society plagued by levels of tension that are growing increasingly dangerous.
MalmÃ¶ is Sweden’s third largest city. It is set to become the first Scandinavian town with a Muslim majority population. In recent years, it has achieved a certain notoriety for its crime problems.
The wave of robberies the city has witnessed is part of a “war against Swedes.” This was the explanation given by young robbers with immigrant background for why they are robbing native Swedes. The sociologistÂ Petra Ã…kessonÂ interviewed boys between 15 and 17 years old, both individually and in groups. “When we are in the city and robbing, we are waging a war, waging a war against the Swedes.” This argument was repeated several times. “Power for me means that Swedes shall look at me, lie down on the ground and kiss my feet.” The boys explained, laughingly, that “We rob every single day, as much as we want to, whenever we want to.”
Yet suggesting that the ongoing rise in violent crime might have something to do with mass immigration of alien and aggressive cultures is quite literally banned by law. In MarchÂ 2007Â during a rally supported by SSU (the Social Democratic Youth League) a man carried a sign reading, “While Swedish girls are being gang raped by immigrant gangs the SSU is fighting racism.” He was promptly arrested and later sentenced to a fine. His crime? He had “expressed disrespect for a group of people with reference to their national or ethnic background.” The localÂ courtÂ rejected the man’s free speech argument because even free speech has its limits, and he had clearly acted in too provocative a manner.
So-called “Islamophobia” is treated as a serious offense. InÂ August 2013, Swedish prosecutors charged a 22-year-old non-Muslim Swedish man for honking his car horn outside the Fittja mosque near Stockholm, citing his intention to disturb the Muslim congregation there during prayers.
Expressing disrespect for ethnic Swedes, whites and European culture seems to be just fine, though. That’s not merely allowed under Multiculturalism, but virtually encouraged. Sweden’s allegedly conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has stated that the original Swedish culture was merelyÂ barbarism; everything good was imported from abroad. He said this in 2006 following a visit to the town of SÃ¶dertÃ¤lje, near Stockholm.
AÂ police stationÂ in SÃ¶dertÃ¤lje was in September 2005 hit by shots from an automatic weapon, following a direct confrontation between aggressive immigrant youths and the local police. The trouble started after a Swedish girl was called a “whore” and reacted negatively to the epithet.
If a leading politician had said that African, Asian or Islamic culture was “merely barbarism,” there would have been a huge public outcry and calls for his immediate resignation due to “racism.” His career might have been over. Yet disrespecting and mocking the traditions of the majority population is apparently no problem.
This phenomenon seems to exist in all Western countries with a white majority population, and only there. Only Europeans are expectedÂ to denigrate their own culture and meekly give their country away to outsiders. Multiculturalism is in essence an anti-European ideology. Under the seductive and highly misleading slogans of “diversity” and “tolerance,” it entails unilaterally dissolving European nations and their distinct identities.
Mona Sahlin has held various posts in Social Democratic cabinets, among others as Minister of Democracy, Integration and Gender Equality. In 2007Â Sahlin was elected leader of the Social Democratic Party, which has been Sweden’s largest party for generations and often its dominant political force. She stepped down as party leader after losing the 2010 elections, when she was the left-wing candidate for Prime Minister.
The radical organization Expo is – unfortunately – very powerful in Sweden today. It was founded in the mid-1990s by the now-late Marxist activist Stieg Larsson. He ironically went on to sell tens of millions of books of crime fiction after his death.
In 2011, after having been a serious candidate for Prime Minister only a few months earlier, Sahlin joinedÂ the boardÂ of the organization Expo. The journalist and dissident writer Ingrid CarlqvistÂ has documented howÂ Expo came to have a powerful unofficial influence over the Swedish public debate on immigration, or the total lack of such. Sweden is partially paralyzed by a climate of fear. You risk being fired from your job and socially demonized by the left-leaning press if you say anything remotely critical of mass immigration. As a matter of fact, you risk being fired without saying anything at all in public. It can be enough merely to give a small donation as a private citizen to democratic dissident websitesÂ such as Avpixlat.
Expo has contributed negatively to this totalitarian climate. Some of its harshest critics have even compared it to Stasi, the secret police in the Communist dictatorship of East Germany (DDR). The few who dare speak up against mass immigration in Sweden risk being physically attacked as well. Expo has been accused of having too close a relationship with violent left-wing organizations.
In 2007 the leading Expo member Charles Westin was the editor of a book about alleged right-wing extremists. In addition to contributions by radical left-wing academics such as Mattias Gardell, itÂ contained a chapterÂ written by the extremely violent left-wing organization Anti-Fascist Action (AFA).
AFA have for years staged very violent attacks on people who dare to question mass immigration or oppose Islamization. Some of their victims have been attacked with axes even in their private homes. AFA often post videos on the Internet where they brag about such attacks. They have done this with near-impunity for many years. The political Establishment looks the other way.
Among AFA’s many targets have been members of a perfectly democratic and legitimate political party, the Sweden Democrats. These attacks have continued even after they earned representation in the Swedish ParliamentÂ in 2010. Expo’s board member and spokesman Daniel Poohl, who is not democratically elected himself, has publicly stated that it’s “not undemocratic” to deny the Sweden Democrats access to political influence.
In early 2011 Mona Sahlin went directly from being the national leader of the very powerful Swedish Social Democratic Party to sitting on the board of Expo together with Charles Westin. That a leading politician sits on the board with a person who has cooperated openly with groups beating up members of a legal opposition party might have raised a few eyebrows elsewhere, but not in Sweden.
Bruce Bawer, the author of bestselling books such asÂ While Europe Slept,Â has previously warned that “ThoughÂ two–thirds of Swedes question whether Islam is compatible with Western society, this issue is simply not open for public discussion. To quote Jonathan Friedman, a New Yorker who teaches social anthropology at the University of Lund, ‘no debate about immigration policies is possible’ because Sweden’s ‘political class,’ which controls public debate, simply avoids the topic.”
Dissidents from the Sweden Democrats have been the targets of violent events that recall China’s Cultural Revolution. Protests have been staged by the youth divisions of other parties.
The British historian Roland Huntford warned in his 1971 bookÂ The New TotalitariansÂ that Sweden has perfected the methods of suppressing individual dissent while maintaining the outward workings of a democratic system. He feared that similar methods might be adopted elsewhere in the Western world.
That time â€” the early 1970s â€” was just before the wave of non-European immigration hit Scandinavia. Huntford’s book therefore does not deal directly with this issue. But he does pinpoint the serious repression of dissent in Sweden and its dangerous lack of intellectual defenses. Perhaps that is the nation’s most damagingÂ flaw. He also noted the extensive Socialist indoctrination, the all-intrusive bureaucracy and the fact that after generations of Social Democratic dominance, the country seems to view itself as an ideological state. It is not hard to see how these factors could become very toxic when combined with mass immigration.
It’s just a 40 minute drive by car across the Ã˜resundÂ Bridge from the troubled town of MalmÃ¶ in southern Sweden to Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen. Sweden shares a land border with Finland in the north plus a longer sea border across the Baltic Sea. Norway and Sweden share aÂ 1,630-kilometerÂ long land border which happens to be one of the least protected national borders in the world.
Sweden is now becoming so repressive, and the problems related to rampant mass immigration so big, that the country could represent a future security threat to neighboring nations.
The report, published March 24, is based on the examinations of Nils Muiznieks, commissioner for human rights of the CoE, during his visit to Denmark in November of last year. Muiznieks concluded that the high prevalence of racist and stigmatizing speech being used against Muslims in political life and in the media is a very problematic issue in Denmark.
In the report, Muiznieks also focuses on issues regarding human rights of asylum-seekers and immigrants, with a particular emphasis on the rights of children as well as those of people with disabilities.
“The commissioner encourages the Danish authorities to step up their efforts to combat hate speech, and in particular Islamophobia, which continues to be widespread in public and political debate. He particularly urges the authorities to condemn firmly and unequivocally all instances of racist and xenophobic political discourse,” states the report.
Danish media contribute to a skewed picture of Muslims
There is a diverse range of debates in Denmark on what makes up Danish identity — from whether or not to allow halal meats at schools or whether to allow cashiers to wear headscarves to questioning a Danish boy of Moroccan descent winning Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, an annual music competition that determines the country’s representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. These debates have one common factor: not being Danish enough
Giving these types of incidents, one may think that it is no surprise Muiznieks found widespread debates that are particularly Islamophobic even though some political parties have criticized the report to be “thin” and not very comprehensive.
Brian Arly Jacobsen, assistant professor in sociology of religion from Copenhagen University, agrees that the Danish media and the political debates contribute to a skewed picture of Muslims in Denmark. Jacobsen, who also specializes in how Muslims and Islam are portrayed in Danish politics, does recognize the problematic issue regarding the portrayal of Muslims in the media. However, he adds that depending on whom you ask there will be different opinions on the issue.
“What does it mean to be Islamophobic? There are tendencies, sure, but how can one define Islamophobic?” Jacobsen told Sunday’s Zaman, adding “The problem is that the political debates and the media contribute to a skewed picture of Muslims that have consequences for Danish society as the picture portrayed is often associated with conflicts — and this problem is exactly the generalization of Islamophobia that Muiznieks refers to.”
Generalization is widespread
Ã–zlem Cecik, a Danish politician of Kurdish descent from Turkey, argues there are particular types of rhetoric being used in political and public debates in Denmark that may be thought-provoking, but she doesn’t agree that the debates are Islamophobic.
Cecik told Sunday’s Zaman: “Nuances have disappeared in the political debate; generalization is widespread and herein lies the problem. For example, if there is a criminal called Brian, we try to understand why he became a criminal and help him. However, if the boy is called Muhammad, then the standard response is that it’s a cultural problem. Instead of focusing on how we can help, we start by thinking of it as a cultural or religious problem. We don’t address it as a social issue, such as educational or health-related issues.
“Unfortunately, there is a greater focus on culture or religion, which distracts us from the real problems. Setting fire to containers is not a traditional feature of Turkish or Kurdish culture, so there must be more to the problem and often it is social issues, such as lack of education, that we should look to.”
Reading Danish news, it is not hard to find a harsh tone and attitude towards Muslims. For example, a column headed “Islam is our civilization’s greatest threat” in the Danish newspaper, Politiken, on March 2, written by Soren Espersen, a politician from the Danish People’s Party, may encourage fear-mongering.
For Cecik, this type of rhetoric is used to stoke fears and sabotages any constructive dialogue. She believes it is always easier to engage in politics by stirring up hostility toward another group of people, adding: “This is a populist approach. Societal groups which do this are fear-mongering.”
Muiznieks has also noted the harsh tone used in the media and politics towards Muslims and writes in the report: “Several of the commissioner’s interlocutors have indicated that the focus of stigmatizing media and political debate has shifted from color and ethnicity to religion and culture, with Muslims and Islam being at the center of this shift. Terminology frequently used to refer to Islam includes words such as ‘barbaric,’ ‘tyrannical,’ ‘fundamentalist’ and Muslim men have frequently been portrayed as violent and rapists.”
As a consequence, the anti-Islamic approach has eventually led to tightening immigration requirements for non-Westerners, making Denmark one of the countries in the EU with some of the tightest immigration regulations.
“Some people are concerned as to whether Sharia [strict Islamic] law will be implemented in Denmark or not… However, it is unrealistic to think that Sharia law will be implemented in a democratic country like Denmark,” said Cecik
There is a different side to the problem
Rushy Rashid Hojbjerg, a Pakistani-descended Danish journalist and radio host at Radio24syv who has been working in media for 15 years, told Sunday’s Zaman that she recognizes that even though there is a great focus on Islam and ethnicity in the media, it does not necessarily mean that every time Islam gets mentioned it is a case of Islamophobia.
“The media often goes for negative stories because that’s where the conflict lies. As a radio host at my program, I am told that I should also feature more success stories; I don’t make two hours covering success stories, but I interview people of various ethnicities and make them talk politics, social injustice, Islam and so many other topics. The main goal of the program is to give a more nuanced picture,” Hojbjerg noted.
Speaking with Sunday’s Zaman, Jens Stensgaard Jakobsen, an editor for the Danish cross-cultural paper Opinionen, agrees that the Danish debates in the media are not Islamphobic, adding: “If you look back at the 2000s, articles regarding Islam and immigration were published up to three times more than today, but now the focus has been taken away from that. Rather, there is a problem with good journalism. As a journalist, I see the problem lies within the lack of multi-cultural journalists who, with their different cultural insight, can contribute to a more nuanced debate. A lot of the big news agencies do not often have skilled journalists with solid resources. The lack of insightful reporting may be the problem…The big newspapers have to remember that their readers also include Danes with multicultural backgrounds now.”